The CDC estimates that 80,000 people in the United States died of the flu and its complications last winter, the most in at least four decades, according to the Associated Press.
"I'd like to see more people get vaccinated," CDC Director Robert Redfield told the AP in an interview. "We lost 80,000 people last year to the flu."
The AP reports that in recent years the flu death total has been between 12,000 and 56,000.
The number of deaths last winter is higher than any flu season going back to 1976-1977, before which there is not easily available data, according to the AP.
Last winter's flu was particularly active.
“For the past three weeks, the entire country has been experiencing lots of flu all at the same time,” Dan Jernigan, a top CDC flu official, said in January.